“It takes a village” is a familiar idiom for raising children, but it applies to growing as a mother and a woman, too. Making the three work in harmony, after all, is a balancing act that calls for back-up—a connection with fellow moms who know the deal when it comes to figuring out everything from ways to find solid “me time” to having a safe winter pregnancy to making life more manageable as a working mom to clever ways to turn challenging childrearing battles into straight-up victories. You’ve got to find your tribe—the fellow moms who’ve got your back. This is what we do here at MyBrownBaby, and we’re proud to be that connection between our mom readers and the experts who have the chops to not only give voice to the true meaning of motherhood our way, but also to help us navigate the path toward fulfilled lives.
We’re so pleased that maternity lifestyle maven Lathan Thomas, author of Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy and a partner of My Black Is Beautiful and Pampers, is partnering once again with MyBrownBaby to share some solid, quality intel on how we moms can get—and keep!—ourselves together during these brutal winter months, from the best exercises to do during a winter pregnancy, to how to reclaim our bodies after winter delivery to how to take care of ourselves first so that we can be the best moms to our little ones. Here, Lathan’s tips:
MyBrownBaby: What are two exercises an expecting mom should try for a fit, fabulous and comfortable fall/winter pregnancy?
Lathan Thomas: My first recommendation would be to get your walk on. It’s a common workout that offers so many benefits, namely the minimization of stress on your bones and muscles. Expectant mothers can get the most out of this exercise by moving at a fast pace and covering more distance. If you really want to feel the burn, walk up and down stairs or slow inclines. I also encourage pregnant moms to inhale, exhales and repeat! Yoga, the ancient form of mind/body exercise, offers countless health advantages including peace of mind, stress reduction, and physical flexibility. The focused breathing techniques and postures can be gentle on the body, but ramped up a notch depending on your fitness level. If you really want to boost the burn, keep practicing because yoga can burn serious calories as your flexibility and strength improves. Poses like warrior, and downward dog held for a few breaths can rev-up your metabolism while increasing your heart rate and sculpting those arms.
MBB: How does one reclaim her body after delivery during the cold months?
LT: Many new moms are in a rush to get back into shape, but there should be no rush. Allow yourself the time to relax and nuzzle with your little one and take your time to reintegrate postpartum. We love compression tights to wear while exercising. Eat well to maximize your glow, boost your energy and balance your mood. Be patient and know that it can take time to return to your pre-baby-body, but staying hydrated and getting rest when baby is resting will help ensure you have a bit of energy to exercise. You can turn on music and simply dance around the house for 30 minutes if you can’t make it out the door.
MBB: What is one of the best ways a mom can properly take care of herself first so she can care for her loved ones?
LT: Self care in motherhood is so under celebrated. We always put the needs of others before our own, but it’s only by taking excellent care of ourselves first that we have the energy and patience to be the best mothers we can be. Practice “Glow Time,” a self-care practice where you fill up on things that make you feel good—whether that’s a massage, a bike ride, a warm bath, or reading a good book. We all need respite.
Check out more of Lathan’s tips at her blog, Mama Glow.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.